Toric contact lenses are used to correct astigmatism. They equal out the refractive error caused by an irregular shaped cornea or crystalline lens, which can distort and blur your vision. Toric contact lenses are available for daily, two weekly or monthly wear.
Lenstore offers a selection of toric lenses from the biggest brands, including the established manufacturers Johnson & Johnson with their popular Acuvue brand, CooperVision who have 40 years of experience, and the joint eye health specialists CIBA Vision and Alcon.
What does it mean if I have astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a very common eye condition, just as common as short or long-sightedness, and occurs when the cornea or the lens of the eye is not round and spherical but rather shaped irregularly, being slightly elongated for example.
The light that enters the eyes does not focus evenly on one point but has several points of focus. This prevents the processing of clear imagery and your vision may appear blurry or warped.
How Do Toric Contact Lenses Correct Astigmatism?
Toric contact lenses use two powers (sphere and cylinder) running across the lens to bend light at a specific angle (axis). As the light enters your eyes both powers combined are able to re-adjust and correct the distorted image, caused by astigmatism.
This means, you can find three numbers on your astigmatic prescription, which may look like this: -1.00 (Sphere) / -1.25 (Cylinder) x 180 (Axis)
The lenses need to sit in a stable position and to ensure this, most soft toric contact lenses use a ballast system technology where parts of the lens are slightly thicker and therefore heavier, to keep them in place for clear and sharp vision. Different manufacturers have their own variation of stabilisation designs which help realign the lenses during blinking or head motions. Due to the advanced technologies required to manufacture toric lenses, they tend to be more expensive than spherical contact lenses (for myopia or hyperopia).
Manufacturers have developed advanced technologies over the years so that those with astigmatism can enjoy the comfort and clear vision provided by toric contact lenses. Thanks to this, toric lenses are available in a wider range of prescription and have become more popular over recent years.
Stable Vision - Ideal for those who require clear and stable vision all the time, regardless of head motions.
Variety - Whether you wear lenses only for aesthetic purposes, on special occasions when you want to leave your glasses at home, or every day for work or university, you have the choice between dailies, bi-weeklies and monthlies.
Comfortable - Toric lenses are developed with hydrating technologies to keep your eyes moisturised and comfortable all day long.
Types of Toric Contact Lenses
No matter what type of toric lens you need, you must have a contact lens fitting and request your contact lens prescription from your optician before ordering.
With toric lenses, in particular, the prescription can differ from your glasses prescription, as soft contact lenses are manufactured in specific measurements to sit accurately on your eyes. If you’ve already had a contact lens fitting but don’t hold a copy of your prescription, you will be able to contact your optician who may send it to you via post or email.
Your astigmatic contact lens prescription may look like this:
1 Day Acuvue Moist for Astigmatism
If you are neither short nor long-sighted, your sphere will be zero (+0.00/-1.25x180).
On your prescription, you will find the name of the contact lenses you have been fitted for, the base curve (BC) and diameter (DIA), as well as the sphere, cylinder, and axis. The name of the contact lenses will be the brand or manufacturer and modality, for example, 1 Day Acuvue Moist for Astigmatism. This helps you find the right lenses on our website. Your valid contact lens prescription should also document the date of examination, the expiration date of the prescription and your optician’s details and signature.
To help you find the right type of toric contact lenses we’ve prepared the following guide:
Daily Toric Lenses
Daily toric contact lenses are ideal for a busy lifestyle. They can simply be disposed of after wearing once, no cleaning-regime required.
Example: 1 Day Acuvue Moist for Astigmatism - 1 Day Acuvue Moist for Astigmatism are daily toric contact lenses from Johnson & Johnson. Simply wear them once and throw them away at the end of the day. The Eyelid Stabilised Design is used to help stabilise the lenses on your eyes and hold them in place to deliver sharp vision even during vigorous head movements.
Two Weekly Toric Lenses
Two weekly toric lenses, or ‘bi-weeklies’, can be worn for up to two weeks when they are removed, cleaned, and stored properly every night.
Example: Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism - Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism are bi-weekly toric lenses, made from an oxygen-permeable silicone hydrogel material. The Hydraclear Plus technology helps to balance your tear film to keep the lenses moist and your eyes comfortable. They also feature Class 1 UV-Protection against harmful sun rays which makes them ideal if you spend a lot of time outdoors.
Monthly Toric Lenses
Monthly toric contact lenses can be worn for up to 30 days before being replaced with a new pair. They need to be removed, cleaned, and stored accordingly overnight.
Example: Biofinity Toric - Biofinity Toric are monthly toric lenses manufactured by CooperVision. The lenses last for up to 30 days making them a cost-effective option. They are made with the silicone hydrogel material Comfilcon A, which has a water content of 48% and allows a high level of oxygen to your eyes as well as improved comfort during wear.
Multifocal Toric Lenses
Multifocal toric lenses are designed for those who have astigmatism and presbyopia.
Example: Proclear Multifocal Toric - Proclear Multifocal Toric are unique as they correct both astigmatism and presbyopia. Although astigmatism may occur at any age, it is common for people over the age of 40 to develop presbyopia, which makes it harder to focus on text or objects up close. Previously, astigmatic contact lens wearers had to add reading glasses or wear monovision contact lenses to correct presbyopic vision. Thanks to CooperVision’s Balanced Progressive Technology, these lenses are able to correct both conditions, giving you stable and sharp vision across all distances.
Best Selling Toric Contact Lenses
There is a huge variety of soft toric contact lenses and with so many options it can sometimes be overwhelming. To make it easier for you, we’ve listed our best-selling toric lenses.
Before you try a new contact lens brand, please consult with your optician to ensure that the alternative is suitable for you and fitted correctly.
These daily toric contact lenses are ideal for everyone with an active lifestyle, no maintenance required. 1 Day Acuvue Moist for Astigmatism are designed with Lacreon Technology, a wetting technology that was developed by Johnson & Johnson, to reduce irritation and ensure a comfortable wearing experience all day long.
Dailies AquaComfort Plus Toric are daily toric contact lenses manufactured by Alcon. They incorporate a Precision Curve Lens Design that allows the lenses to sit safely in your eyes and reduces rotation to a minimum. This helps to provide stability and crisp vision all day long.
Biofinity Toric are monthly lenses for those with astigmatism and can be worn for up to 30 days. They need to be removed, cleaned and stored properly overnight. They are also licenced for continuous wear for up to 29 nights – whether this is a suitable option for you, needs to be confirmed with your optician beforehand. Wearers recommend these lenses and describe them as ‘super comfortable’.
Acuvue Oasys 1 Day for Astigmatism
Acuvue Oasys 1 Day for Astigmatism are daily disposable toric lenses manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. They are made from breathable silicone hydrogel material combined with an added wetting agent through Hydraluxe technology. These lenses support long-lasting hydration and optimum comfort during wear. They have Class 1 UV protection, which helps protect from harmful sun rays, ideal for everyone who spends a lot of time outdoors.
Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism
Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism are two-weekly toric lenses which means they can be worn for up to 14 days as daily wear. They are also suitable for extended wear of 6 consecutive days and nights – in which case they need to be disposed of after one week -please always confirm with your optician before wearing the lenses overnight. These lenses are made from oxygen-permeable silicone hydrogel and are a cost-effective and convenient option for wearers with astigmatism who will benefit from optimum freshness and comfort.
Best for a Busy Lifestyle
If you have an active lifestyle and prefer to wear your lenses all day and night, toric contact lenses that are suitable for continuous/extended wear might be a convenient option for you. These lenses can be worn overnight while sleeping making them a convenient option for those with busy lifestyles. Remember to consult your optician before wearing your lenses overnight to ensure this is a suitable option for your eye health.
PureVision 2 HD for Astigmatism
PureVision 2 HD for Astigmatism are manufactured by Bausch & Lomb and have been designed with ComfortMoist technology to provide hydration throughout wear and make them comfortable for the entire duration. These lenses are suitable for continuous wear of up to 29 consecutive nights, provided your optician confirms that this option supports the health of your eyes.
Best for Allergies
Contact lens wearers with seasonal or household allergies may wish to stray away from reusable contact lenses that can collect particles of dust and pollen. Additionally, most multi-purpose cleaning solutions have added preservatives that can cause irritation for those with allergies. Daily toric lenses are a great option to ensure that all those irritants leave your eyes with the lens at the end of the day and are not re-inserted the next day.
Please note, if you are using anti-allergy eye drops to reduce your symptoms, always confirm with your optician whether these can be used alongside your daily disposable contact lenses.
Clariti 1 Day Toric
Clariti 1 Day Toric lenses from CooperVision are a daily disposable lens which makes them ideal if you have astigmatism and suffer from allergies. Simply insert the lens at the start of your day and throw it away at the end, so that no allergens can stick to the lens and cause irritation. They make use of advanced WetLoc technology which allows maximum wettability to support healthy and bright eyes.
Best for UV Protection
When you spend a lot of time outdoors and in direct sunlight, you need to protect your skin and your eyes from harmful UV rays. Some toric contact lenses offer UV protection to prevent sun damage on your cornea. Please note that these do not replace protective sunglasses for the delicate skin surrounding your eyes.
Avaira Vitality Toric
Avaira Vitality Toric offers Class 1 UV protection to help block harmful UVA and UVB rays, making them ideal if you work outdoors or spend a lot of your time outside. They are monthly use contact lenses and they can be worn for up to 30 days, which need to be removed every evening, cleaned, and stored properly overnight.
How Much Do Toric Contact Lenses Cost?
The price of toric contact lenses is dependent on the modality of your chosen lenses, as well as the pack size. Below, we have outlined a range of prices that you can expect to pay for toric lenses:
Daily Toric Lenses
30 lenses (last for one month)
£19 - £27
Two Weekly Toric Lenses
6 lenses (last for three months)
£25 - £26
Monthly Toric Lenses
3 lenses (last for three months)
£15 - £35
Are Toric Lenses Expensive?
Toric lenses can be more expensive than regular (spherical) lenses due to the advanced technologies that are used to correct astigmatism, and the careful dimensions in which these lenses are cut. However, over the last decades, the development of these lenses has progressed and with it, the prices are decreasing.
The average price for one box with 6 monthly lenses is £27. This will last you for up to six months.
Can I wear normal contact lenses if I have astigmatism?
You may see an astigmatism addressed on your glasses prescription but not on your contact lens prescription, this means your level of astigmatism is low and it is not necessary to correct it with contact lenses. However, if your contact lens prescription is for toric lenses and states the cylinder and axis measurements, it is not recommended to wear normal (spherical) contact lenses. It is important that you always wear contact lenses advised and prescribed by your optician.
What happens if you wear regular contact lenses when you have astigmatism?
If you have astigmatism that should be corrected with toric lenses and want to wear normal (spherical) contact lenses, your short or long-sightedness may be corrected, but the astigmatism will remain uncorrected and your vision will continue to appear blurred or distorted.
What is the difference between toric and regular contact lenses?
Toric contact lenses are used to correct astigmatism and use specific technologies that ensure that the incoming light breaks at the desired angle to correct the refractive error. Toric lenses use ballast points, to ensure the lenses sit at the correct position in your eyes and do not rotate with head movements, as this may distort your vision. Normal contacts do not use these technologies.
What is better for astigmatism, glasses or contact lenses?
Both glasses and contact lenses can correct astigmatism and each one comes with different advantages.
Most contact lenses can correct up to moderate-high levels of astigmatism, while specialist contact lenses can offer a more bespoke correction for the complex prescriptions. Contact lenses are ideal for those with an active lifestyle, as they stay secure on the eye and offer clear peripheral vision even during vigorous movements.
Why are my toric contact lenses blurry?
When your toric contact lenses result in blurry vision it is possible that your lenses may have rotated off-axis on the eye. You can try blinking a few times to move them to the correct position.
It is also possible that your prescription could have changed or the lenses do not fit correctly. Please contact your optician to confirm your prescription details.
How do you wear and remove toric lenses?
Toric contact lenses can be worn and removed just like other soft contact lenses, the process barely differs from that with regular lenses. Before handling the lenses, please ensure your hands are washed and dry.
You need to insert the lenses carefully, by lifting your lower and upper eyelid and setting the lens, balanced on your index finger, gently on your eye. Toric lenses have balance points, that are thicker and with lenses in higher astigmatic prescriptions heavier than the rest of the lens. To ensure the lens does not tip over while attempting to insert, it is recommended to lean the head forward and downward, inserting the lens at an upwards direction. The lens will stabilise after a few blinking motions.
Additionally, astigmatism markers can help with the insertion of toric lenses. There will be subtle lines on the lens to indicate the correct orientation, which can aid in achieving crisp, stable vision quicker.
To remove the lenses, lift your eyelids as before and gently pinch and grip the lens with your index finger and thumb. If you are using two weekly or monthly lenses, clean them with the solution recommended by your optician and store in a clean lens case with fresh solution overnight.
How long can you wear toric contact lenses?
The wear time of toric lenses depends on the modality of the lens type you have been prescribed for.
Daily toric lenses can be worn once. Two-weekly contact lenses can be worn daily for up to 14 days and monthly lenses for up to 30 days as daily wear.
Please always follow your optician’s advice to confirm which duration is best for the health of your eyes.
Are there coloured toric lenses?
Lenstore does not offer coloured contact lenses that correct astigmatism.
Roshni Patel BSc (Hons) MCOptom qualified as an Optometrist in 2004. She is a member of the Association of Optometrists and is the Professional Services Manager at Lenstore where she is responsible for supporting and guiding all departments from a clinical standpoint.